India v Sri Lanka, World T20, final, Mirpur April 5, 2014

Stats give India edge in familiar face-off

India are the only unbeaten team in the tournament, while their recent record against Sri Lanka, and in finals, is also a cause for confidence

The head-to-head in finals
Since the beginning of 2008, India and Sri Lanka have played 63 international matches, which equals the highest by any two teams during this period. Australia and England have played that many times as well, but while 20 of the 63 Australia-England clashes have been in Tests, India and Sri Lanka have met only nine times in the five-day format during this period, and five times in Twenty20s, which means the overwhelming majority of matches have been ODIs (49, easily the most by any two teams).

Clearly, the two teams are familiar opponents for each other, but what might also worry Sri Lanka is the dominance India have had over them recently. In the 49 ODIs since 2008, India have a 29-17 advantage, and a 3-2 edge in the five Twenty20 internationals. Moreover, India have also shaken off the tag of choking in finals, something that was reinforced by a string of defeats in finals during the Sourav Ganguly era. Under MS Dhoni, they've exuded a confidence that only comes with deep self-belief, and they have the numbers to show they relish a big match: in their last 12 finals since the World Twenty20 in 2007 - all of them under Dhoni's leadership - India have won eight and lost four. That's significantly better than Sri Lanka's 8-9 record in finals during this period.

The familiarity with each other extends to the finals as well: the two teams have played each other seven times in finals, which is four times more than any other pair of teams. India have a 4-3 edge, but that also means three of their four defeats in finals have come against Sri Lanka: in the Asia Cup in 2008, a tri-nation tournament in Bangladesh in 2010, and a triangular in Sri Lanka the same year. Since then, though, India have won three finals in a row: the 2011 World Cup, the 2013 Champions Trophy, and the tri-nation tournament in the West Indies later that year. The first and the last of those wins were against Sri Lanka. In fact, of the last eight finals India have played in limited-overs tournaments, seven have been against Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka's record in big finals isn't that great in recent times: since 2007, they've lost in the title match of the World Cup and the World Twenty20 twice each. However, they'll have more pleasant recent memories of playing a final in Mirpur: they beat Pakistan by five wickets in the Asia Cup final less than a month ago, at the same venue. That should make them feel good about playing another final there so soon.

Record in tournament finals for Sri Lanka and India
  Matches Won Lost Ratio
India - overall (ODIs+T20Is) 63 26 32 0.81
SL - overall (ODIs+T20Is) 57 29 26 1.11
India - T20Is 1 1 0 -
SL - T20Is 3 1 2 0.50
India - World Cup+CT+World T20 8 4 2 2.00
SL - World Cup+CT+World T20 7 1 4 0.25
India - all finals since Jan 2007 12 8 4 2.00
SL - all finals since Jan 2007 17 8 9 0.88
Tournament finals between Sri Lanka and India
  Matches Ind won SL won NR
Overall 19 9 8 2
Since Jan 2007 7 4 3 -

The tournament stats
In the tournament so far, there has been little to choose between the two teams. India are the only unbeaten side so far, but Sri Lanka have lost only one game, and the conditions in Mirpur should suit them too.

Sri Lanka have a slightly better run rate, economy rate, and bowling average, while India have a better batting average. Both teams have taken exactly 35 wickets, which shows the effectiveness of their bowling attacks. Sri Lanka have preferred to put the runs on the board - the only time they chased in the tournament was against Netherlands, who were bundled out for 39. India, on the other hand, have preferred to chase, doing so in four out of five matches so far. Given that they've also beaten Sri Lanka twice in recent finals doing so, India might prefer to bat second again if they win the toss in Mirpur.

India and SL in the tournament so far
  W/ L Bat ave Run rate Wkts Bowl ave Econ rate
India 5/ 0 38.78 7.69 35 18.71 6.79
Sri Lanka 4/ 1 24.03 7.98 35 15.11 6.68

Both India and Sri Lanka also have similar batting run rates through the first 15 overs of their innings. India have lost fewer wickets - four, to Sri Lanka's nine - which is why their batting average is far better. Two of India's top three have scored more than 170 runs in the tournament, with Virat Kohli's 242 being the highest aggregate of the tournament. Kohli has been dismissed only twice in the tournament, which means he has an average of 121 at a strike rate of 128.04. Rohit Sharma has been impressive as well, with 171 runs at 42.75 and a strike rate of almost 126. (Click here for India's batting and bowling stats.) Suresh Raina has also done well in the limited opportunities he has had, ensuring Shikhar Dhawan's poor form has not affected the team much.

Sri Lanka's highest run-getter has been Mahela Jayawardene with 134 at a strike rate of 131, but they have also been served well by Kusal Perera at the top of the order (120 runs at a strike rate of 158), and Angelo Mathews lower down the order (100 runs at a strike rate of 143). In the last five overs, Mathews has scored 68 from 37 balls - a strike rate of 184. Thanks largely to him, Sri Lanka have scored at ten an over in the last five. (Click here for Sri Lanka's batting and bowling averages.)

Batting stats for the two teams
  First 6 overs 6.1 to 15 overs 15.1 to 20 overs
  Average Run rate Average Run rate Average Run rate
India 56.25 7.50 41.00 7.28 26.28 8.83
Sri Lanka 24.00 7.44 37.57 7.30 16.16 10.03

One of the most impressive aspects of both teams has been their bowling at the start of the innings. Sri Lanka have taken 13 wickets in the first six overs, the highest by any team in the tournament. South Africa's 40 for 1 is the best Powerplay score against them, but the other teams have struggled: England were 37 for 2 after six, West Indies 30 for 2, New Zealand 23 for 4 and Netherlands 15 for 4. South Africa's 44 for 2 is also the best Powerplay score against India; Pakistan were 34 for 1 and West Indies 24 without loss, while Australia and Bangladesh were an identical 27 for 3 after six overs.

Through the middle overs there is little to choose between the two teams, while India have been a little more economical than Sri Lanka in the final five overs.

Bowling stats for the two teams
  First 6 overs 6.1 to 15 overs 15.1 to 20 overs
  Average Econ rate Average Econ rate Average Econ rate
India 17.33 5.20 22.42 6.97 15.41 8.67
Sri Lanka 11.15 4.83 22.30 7.37 10.44 9.55

The spin strengths of both teams have also shone through in the tournament. R Ashwin is the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 10 at an economy rate of 4.91, while Amit Mishra was outstanding till the semi-final game against South Africa.

Sri Lanka's spin stars have been Rangana Herath - who destroyed New Zealand in the last group match - and Sachitra Senanayake, both of whom have economy rates of less than 4.70. However, Sri Lanka's fast bowlers have been far more incisive than India's, taking 16 wickets in 46.1 overs to India's seven in 31 overs.

Pace and spin for both teams in the tournament so far
  Spin Pace
  Overs Wkts Average Econ rate Overs Wkts Average Econ rate
India 65.2 24 17.58 6.45 31.0 7 31.00 7.00
Sri Lanka 33.0 14 15.28 6.48 46.1 16 19.06 6.60

The final will also be the last Twenty20 international for two Sri Lankan legends, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, both of whom have contrasting T20I stats against India: Sangakkara has scored 183 from three innings at a strike rate of 181, while Jayawardene has scored 51 from four innings. Jayawardene has had the better tournament so far - Sangakkara has scored all of 19 runs in four innings. Both will want a farewell as memorable as Sachin Tendulkar's last World Cup game, which, incidentally, was also an India-Sri Lanka final.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ESPN on April 6, 2014, 16:33 GMT

    Indians are being fired by tigers !

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    Suranga Lakmal is a much improved bowler. Unfortunately I do not think there is a slot for him.If Sanga and Mahela can bat well he could have been included dropping an all rounder. Everything depends on the pitch conditions.

  • harish on April 6, 2014, 4:35 GMT

    I think the best teams are playing the finals, Srilanka has just won the Asia cup in Bangaladesh, Thirimanne performed well. India on the other hand came with a backlog of Asia Cup where they did not perform well. Just the leader changed and India is back on track. All matches were one sided if you look at the result for India. Srilanka had a cake walk to start but became difficult later, they came up with Flying colors as well. Both the teams are equal at this stage, India fast bowlers did not perform well all throughout the year but this tournament has been different for them. Srilanka has contributions coming from every corner. with all stats combined I think it is Srilanka vs xfactor India(Dhoni/Virat/Ashwin). Srilanka's wants to give a great farewell to their great contributors and India wants to prove their Point of overall Dominance and continue their ramp to finish at the top. I am a cricket fan first and then supporter to Indian Team. Would like to see a cracker today. JAI HO

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2014, 4:23 GMT

    Final Showdown.exactly after 3 years Ind nd Srilanka r facing each other in an ICC event decider... Srilankans remains smewhat same as a team. Sanga, Mahela, Malinga remains core of team composition while they hv Herath emerging as a bowler to turn the tables. as a team would want to give their 2 most accomplished players a fitting farewell. whereas Indian team composition has changed a bit..there is no Tendulkar, Veeru-Gauti thr is no Zak too. the onus has been shifted to Kohli, Rohit, Dhoni,Raina, Dhawan. in bowling Spin trio combining to a lethal effect..with pace bowling unit providing a spportng hand.. though Indians hv an edge.but cannot undrmine Lankan cz thr players cn raise game on big occasions. Thng goes agnnst them z their tendency to succumb as a team in Finals. record says it all. 6th instnce of being in ICC finals.1 win nd 1 joint win. Tht is whre Ind can breathe comfrtably and hold their grip on the clash hving an advntntge even b4 tkng the field.

  • Siva Kumar on April 6, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    Stats make only meaning to fans in a final like this. It all comes down to handling the pressure. And I think India are better equipped to handle pressure barring couple of guys. Having said that Srilanka is one of those teams with a never give up attitude. So, we can expect a good match unless one team crumbles totally under pressure. As an Indian fan I would love to see them winning and have a get a unique record of having all the ICC trophies at the same time, but would also be happy if Srilanka wins as it would be a fitting farewell to two of the best cricketers the country has ever produced. Hoping for cracker of a game...!!!!

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2014, 3:58 GMT

    These stats are put keeping in mind how well india have done..But what this stats don't say is India haven't faced a trial by spin by SL that awaits them today. Last time this SL bowling attack barring Seekkuge prasanna faced india, they were bundled out for 187. And at the final SL nearly defended 201 because of 4 wickets from Herath. Always SL mistake was to attack India with fast medium pacers with no swing. They should have always tried good old spin, which they are going to do today.

  • Anup on April 6, 2014, 2:07 GMT

    India have a 4-3 edge, but that also means three of their four defeats in finals have come against Sri Lanka: in the Asia Cup in 2010, a tri-nation tournament in Bangladesh in 2010, and a triangular in Sri Lanka the same year. Correction: India have a 4-3 edge, but that also means three of their four defeats in finals have come against Sri Lanka: in the Asia Cup in 2008, a tri-nation tournament in Bangladesh in 2010, and a triangular in Sri Lanka the same year. Fact: In the 2008 Asia Cup Final, Sri Lanka defeated India by 100 runs whereas in the 2010 Asia Cup Final, India defeated Sri Lanka by 81 runs.
    Ed note: Thanks for pointing this out. The error has been corrected.

  • Dummy4 on April 5, 2014, 23:49 GMT

    Although India have the edge as far as the stats are concerned, I reckon winning the toss will be crucial. Good luck to both teams :)

  • Ashok on April 5, 2014, 23:00 GMT

    Stats. remain just numbers in T20 Format. Current form, performance on the day & Team effort are the land marks to look for. If India repeat their performance they put up against the SA & Australia in the previous match, they will be hard to beat. SL did not fare well in batting against WI but because of WI's weak batting, they succeeded. Looking at the SL team, they have Captaincy problems. They will have a few captains on the field to start (with Malinga the toss up Captain)- who need to coordinate the team effort between them. India showed fine teamwork in all 5 matches so far. In terms of Form both the teams have shown good form & also performed well. So the team work will decide the issue with Indian spinners being the key to victory. Mishra needs to show the form of the first 4 matches & Ashwin needs to continue his wkt. taking form. Kumar & Mohit Sharma have to be accurate & the Indian batsmen especially the openers need to click. It promises to be a good match!

  • Anjana on April 5, 2014, 22:22 GMT

    In a big final like this, often stats doesn't make any sense. It is all about the handling of pressure in the middle. In that sense, Indians have a great advantage of having Dhoni, probably the best person of handling pressure. I am a Sri Lankan fan, but I would like Sri Lanka to be called as underdogs here. Anyway, best of luck for both teams for a superb final.

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